Everyone deserves access to a decent erotica collection. Cracking open a box of naughtiness, sometimes sneaking a peek at the story titles or authors to skip ahead to a sure thing, lingering over a particularly hot tale, realizing you’ve neglected a few chapters because you keep re-reading that one scene. Or maybe that’s just me.
In an effort to be disciplined and comprehensive, I decided to read Best Lesbian Erotica 2014 from cover to cover without any detours. But I’ll be honest: my itinerary included a lot of u-turns back to Teresa Noelle Roberts’ “Birthday Butch.” In my imaginary collection of “Kitty’s Finest Lesbian Erotica Tales Guaranteed To Make You Purr (but only if you like a little kink with your smut),” this story gets an immediate invite. Ms. Roberts, let’s talk.
I suspect recovering Catholics will find that Catherine Lundoff’s “Reunion at St. Mary’s” will put an extra crackle in their communion wafer. Sinclair Sexsmith’s “A Good Workout” was just that – to the point and rather athletic. I sweated a few calories away just reading it. “Run, Jo, Run” by Cheyenne Blue is a sweet and complete story in which the making of love moved my cynical heart.
“Imaging” by Sharon Wachsler brought forth a peculiar response from me. I actively disliked the narrator so much that I didn’t enjoy reading about her sexual shenanigans. But then I realized I was letting my secret wish to root for a woman “overcoming physical adversity” obscure the fact that the “heroine” was a total (metaphorical) dick. Suddenly, I could enjoy the nasty fun as her ex and friends administered some justice.
It may be my imagination, but this particular collection features more non-erotic stories than usual. Anamika’s“Bridge Line” and Dolar Vasani’s “My Bagandan Princess” are well-written – the women and the specificity of their environments lingered in my memory – but the erotic moments slipped by quickly. “Stitch & Bitch” by A.L. Simonds was also “story-heavy” but it’s the one I most wished would be developed into a novella or novel. Priya, recycling the yarn from her ex’s sock to reclaim herself, meets living-on-the-edge pro skater Luisa. One “upright and bossy,” the other tenacious and vulnerable beneath the bravado, and together I wanted to read more, more, more.
Nairne Holtz’s “Call for Submission” and Amal Arabi’s “Tongue in Cheek” both went for an unexpected ending with a smirk. Only Arabi’s story worked for me. I’ll nominate it for sexiest and smartest intentional tease, but thank goodness I could flip back to “Birthday Butch” right away…
D.L. King’s “Big Lesbo Cupcakery” was a hoot and a half, the intensity of “What I Need” by Xan West scared the crap out of me (which probably recommends it to some readers), while Cheryl Jimmerson’s “Nocturne” and Diana Cage’s “Hey Stranger” just left me worrying about the relationships of all involved.
And then there’s “Mommy Is Coming,” an erotic screenplay from Sarah Schulman and Cheryl Dunye that was made into a film. This is smutty farce. Personally, I prefer a traditional narrative or watching a film to reading the stage directions, and I found the big reveal a crushing turn-off even as I saw it coming (so to speak). Maybe a live dramatic reading, though?
As more and more erotic collections zero in on specific themes – Sacchi Green is releasing a second erotic collection about lesbian cops this year – I appreciate the Best Lesbian Erotica series as an annual grab bag of erotic adventures. Now, please excuse me while I consider a proper gift for the birthday butch.
You can download a sample or purchase Best Lesbian Erotica 2014 by clicking here.